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From Plasmid DNA to Protein

After a recombinant plasmid enters a bacterial cell, the cell begins to express the genes on it. DNA polymerase locates the ori- the origin of replication, and starts to replicate the plasmid using the bacterial cell’s machinery. Multiple copies of the recombinant plasmid can enable the bacterial cell to express large amounts of a protein. Usually, a bacterial cell will only make the protein of interest, after it is induced to do so by adding a chemical which will promote the transcription of the gene. Recall that to express the gene encoding the protein on the recombinant plasmid, DNA is transcribed to mRNA, which is then translated to protein (Figure 13.2).

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The expressed proteins may affect the visible traits when observing the bacteria colonies.

Figure 2. Gene expression from a plasmid in the bacterial cell

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